Call for the ISSB to prioritise the development of a thematic social-related disclosures standard

The International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) has recently proposed that they include in their agenda the development of distinct standards on ‘human capital’ and/or ‘human rights’.

The B Team, Shift and the World Benchmarking Alliance have jointly discussed this proposition with a number of investors, business associations, professional bodies and civil society organizations.

Whilst we are pleased to see that some social topics are being prioritised, we are concerned that taking the proposed siloed approach would create confusion and overlapping disclosures.

We believe that the proposed standards would make it harder for both businesses and providers of capital to navigate the field, assess materiality, and develop and analyse disclosures in a coherent manner that enables effective decision-making.

In response to the ISSB’s call for consultations, we have developed a set of key messages that set out the opportunity and rationale for the ISSB to start with a general thematic standard on ‘social-related’ disclosures, much as they did for climate.

This broad, rather than granular standard would set the foundation for disclosures of relevance for all companies regarding aspects of governance, strategy, risk management, and metrics and targets that are particular to social matters.

It would enable a clear architecture for social issues and deliver the contextual information that providers of capital need in order to interpret disclosures on more specific topics relevant to human capital and/or human rights as well as social capital.

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